AB de Villiers’ 82 overshadowed KL Rahul’ 42 and Nicholas Pooran’s quick-fire 46 as Royal Challengers Bangalore registered their third consecutive win in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). 

Batting first, the hosts were off to a flying start with Parthiv Patel being the real aggressor in the partnership. Patel along with skipper Virat Kohli smashed 35 runs in a mere three overs. However, the team lost Kohli in the very next over of the innings and the onus to bat deep was once again on AB de Villiers, and one has to say, he didn’t disappoint as Bangalore managed to put a mammoth total of 202 runs on the scoreboard. 

Punjab in the chase, also started on a positive note but lost momentum in the final overs, and eventually suffered 17 runs defeat at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. 

Let’s look at the factors which took Royal Challengers Bangalore to cross the winning line: 

1. Bangalore scored 64 runs in last three overs

RCB was at 138 by the end of 17 overs and at one stage, even scoring 170 runs was looking out of reach. However, as the cricketing fraternity say, ‘Cricket is a funny game’. The destruction started when the momentum was with the opposition.

Hardus Viljoen went for 16 runs in the 18th over followed by a 21-run 19th over from Mohammed Shami. The final over from Viljoen saw ABD and Stoinis at their best as an additional 27 runs were scored. RCB finished with a massive 202 for the loss of four wickets. 

From 46 off 34 balls, the South African raced his way to the top to remain unbeaten as he scored 82 from 44 balls. Stoinis played a handy knock of 46. The target of over 200 runs not only gave the bowlers something to bowl for but also pushed Punjab to play on their back foot.

2. Navdeep Saini bowled a perfect penultimate over 

Earlier in the chase, Chris Gayle and KL Rahul started the innings brilliantly. Despite Gayle’s early dismissal, Rahul continued to score at a brisk rate and stitched together a decent partnership with Mayank Agarwal. Even after their dismissal, Nicholas Pooran and David Miller continued to score at a fair pace. 

The equation came down to 30 off the last two overs, it was advantage KXIP as Pooran and Miller looked in prime form, and they were up against Navdeep Saini. However, Saini was off to a perfect start as he dismissed Miller on the very first ball. 

To make matters worse for the visitors, Navdeep continued to hit the deck hard and gave away just three runs in the next four deliveries before sending in-form Nicholas Pooran back to pavilion on the last ball of the over. Bangalore moved up a place on the score table and have a total of 8 points.